Box Office: ‘Apes’ to Outmaneuver ‘Spider-Man’ on Friday, but Weekend Battle Is Tight

War for the Planet of the Apes” may pit primates against their evil human counterparts, but the monkeys should probably focus their attention on one superpowered man in particular: Spider-Man. Despite being in its second frame, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is giving new entry “Apes” quite the battle when it comes to winning this weekend’s box office.

“War” put up a valiant fight on Thursday night, taking in $5 million at 3,251 North American locations. The third film in Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” reboot is on track to win Friday with a total of $20 million, previews included. That number will translate to an estimated opening weekend of around $52 million, putting it on par with 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes'” $54.8 million debut, but noticeably behind 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'” $72.6 million domestic launch.

Unfortunately for Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, and the rest of their shrewdness, Tom Holland could still swing his way to a second straight win. After slinging a $117 million opening last weekend, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” could net anywhere between $50 and $60 million by end of day Sunday, opening the race for the top spot. The first film in Marvel-Sony’s Spidey reboot will see about $19 million from 4,348 theaters on Friday — meaning it may lose tonight’s battle, but could ultimately still win this weekend’s war.

“Despicable Me 3” completes the franchise trifecta at No. 3. The Universal-Illumination animated threequel is looking to pull off a $19 million heist in its third week following a $6 million haul from 4,155 marks on Friday.

Outside the land of reboots, sequels, and remakes, “Baby Driver” and “The Big Sick” are battling it out for fourth place. While Lionsgate is expanding Amazon Studios’ romantic comedy from Kumail Nanjiani to 2,597 sites from just 326 locations, it is expected to just barely lose out to Working Title, Big Talk, TriStar, and Sony’s “Baby Driver.” Both films are set to add another $8 million to their domestic cumes this weekend — bringing “Baby Driver” to $72.5 million in three weeks and doubling “The Big Sick” to $16 million in four frames — but be prepared for another possible upset.

On the outskirts of the top 5, “Wish Upon” from Broad Green is not living up to horror fans’ wishes. The Joey King and Ryan Phillippe horror IP is expected to earn just $2 million per night this weekend, giving it a less-than-prime $6 million debut.

War for the Planet of the Apes” has received a strong 94% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to “Spider-Man: Homecoming’s” 93%, meaning this box office battle truly is neck-and-neck.

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